Japan: Fuels: Biofuels

Japan: Fuels: Biofuels


Standard type
Biodiesel quality standards

Biodiesel in Japan


There are two quality standards for biodiesel fuels in Japan: a mandatory standard specified in the Law on the Quality Control of Gasoline and Other Fuels (Quality Assurance Law) and a voluntary Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS). In 2003, biodiesel was the topic of a fact-finding survey concerning exhaust gases of new fuels.

Technical Standards

3.1 Quality Assurance Law Specifications

The Quality Assurance Law has been amended to allow up to 5% Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (FAME) by mass (in the United States and Europe, blending is by volume) and to prevent the use of unprocessed vegetable oils. The requirements took effect in March 2007. The diesel fuel properties specified in this law are sulfur, cetane index, T90 distillation temperature and upper limits on FAME and triglicerides. For biodiesel, additional requirements include limits for methanol, total acid number (TAN), low molecular weight acids and oxidation stability. Both diesel fuel and biodiesel/diesel blends have limits on FAME and triglicerides to clearly distinguish between the two and to prevent the use of unprocessed triglicerides. The table below shows the regulated limits for diesel fuel containing up to 5% biodiesel in the Quality Assurance Law.

Japanese Biodiesel Blend Specifications (Quality Assurance Law)
Fuel Property Test Unit Biodiesel Blend Diesel
Cetane Index1, min JIS K2280 45 45
Sulfur, max JIS K2541 -1, -2, -6, or -7 % mass 0.005 0.005
Distillation, 90% v/v rec., max JIS K2254 °C 360 360
FAME, max % mass 5.0 0.1
Triglycerides, max % mass 0.01 0.01
Methanol, max % mass 0.01
Total Acid Number, max mg KOH/g 0.13
Formic, Acetic and Propionic Acids, max % mass 0.003
Oxidation Stability, max acid number increase mg KOH/g 0.12
1. Cetane number may also be used

3.2 JIS Standard

The table below shows the proposed voluntary JIS standard for biodiesel. It is similar to the European biodiesel standard with several exceptions. The European standard is for use as a blending stock for diesel fuel or as a neat B100 fuel. Japan limits the biodiesel content to 5% so B100 is not allowed. The oxidation stability requirement for Japan is set on the B5 blend and not on the neat biodiesel as is done in Europe. The Quality Assurance Law also places additional requirements on acid number and low molecular weight acids for the B5 blend that are not required in Europe.

Proposed Japanese Biodiesel Specification (JIS)
Fuel Property Unit Limit Test Method
Ester content, min % mass 96.5 EN 14103
Density g/ml 0.86 – 0.90 JIS K 2249
Kinematic Viscosity mm2/s 3.5 – 5.0 JIS K2283
Flash Point, min °C 120 JIS K2265
Sulfur, max ppm 10 JIS K 2541-1, -2, -6 or-7
10% Carbon Residue, max % mass 0.3 JIS K2270
Cetane Index, min 51 JIS K2280
Sulfated Ash, max % mass 0.02 JIS K2272
Water, max ppm 500 JIS K 2275
Particulate, max ppm 24 EN 12662
Copper Corrosion, max 1 JIS K2513
Acid, max mg KOH/g 0.5 JIS K2501, JIS K0070
Oxidation Stability *
Iodine Number, max g I/100g 120 JIS K0070
Linolenic acid methyl ester, max % mass 12.0 EN 14103
Methanol, max % mass 0.20 JIS K 2536, EN14110
Monoglycerides, max % mass 0.80 EN 14105
Diglycerides, max % mass 0.20 EN 14105
Triglycerides, max % mass 0.20 EN 14105
Free glycerin, max % mass 0.02 EN 14105, EN14106
Total glycerin, max % mass 0.25 EN 14105
Metals (Na + K), max ppm 5 EN 14108, EN 14109
Metals (Ca + Mg), max ppm 5 EN 14538
Phosphorus, max ppm 10 EN 14107
Pour point °C *
* Agreement between producer and distributor

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